A former chairman of the Owerri branch of the Nigeria Bar Association, Ndionyenma H. Nwankwo has been gruesomely murdered in his chambers by unknown assailants. Nwankwo was suspected to have been murdered in cold blood on Saturday, February 6, 2021. The mutilated body of the legal practitioner was discovered early Sunday morning by policemen from the Homicide Department of the Imo State Police Command who were invited by leadership of the association following a distress call to them by the late Nwankwo’s family that he failed to return home after he left for work the previous day.
In a press statement on Sunday morning, the branch secretary of the NBA, Chinedu Agu, gave a blow-by-blow account of how the mutilated body of the deceased was discovered at his No. 43, School Road, Owerri chambers by a team of police detectives and fellow lawyers.
The statement reads: “At about 8.15 am today on my way to Church for 8.30 am Mass, I received a call from the Chairman of the Bar, J.I Ogamba, Esq. detailing me to liaise with the former Secretary of the Bar, Ishmael Nkwocha Esq., to take Police to N.H Nwankwo & Co. at 43, School Road, Owerri, to ascertain the safety of N.H Nwankwo, Esq. who left home for work yesterday Saturday the 6th day of February, 2021, and was yet to return from work.
“However, earlier to the call, Ishmael Nkwocha, who shares same office space with him had, in response to frantic calls from his family members over the uncertainty of his whereabouts, gone to his office to meet same locked. On opening the entrance door, he met Nwankwo’s main office locked and with traces of blood on the door to his (Nwankwo’s) office.
“Not very sure of the situation, he went to the Homicide Section of the State CID, going with him Forensic Experts from the Police Headquarters to the office to have it properly opened by themselves in order not to contaminate evidential materials.
“When the forensic experts arrived at 9:56hrs with their gadgets, they opened the door only for us to find his bulky frame lying lifeless inside his office in a pool of his congealed blood. On a closer inspection, Nwankwo appeared to have been savagely matchetted by his assailant, as a very gaping cut was seen on his neck, a monstrous cut of not less than of about 30cm with only about less than 50percent of the flesh in his neck region holding the head.
“Blood splashes were seen on the roof, fans, printer, computers, table, files, seats, books, bookshelves inside his office suggestive of a ferocious matchetting of his neck.
Nwankwo was suspected to have been busy working as his Printer, Computer, Standing Fan were on while a writing pad containing jottings unrelated to this incident and a Pen were found on his desk.
“A bucket of water was seen in his office, with which the Assailant must have washed his hands and matchet used in this act. A search of the office revealed a matchet abandoned inside the toilet of his office with which the assailant was suspected to have used to cut his neck.
“When his body which lay half prostrate was turned, matchet cuts were seen on his wrist also and the footprints captured by forensic experts suggested the act was done by two persons as the two footprints were un-identical”.
Agu said as of the time of this provisional report, “Forensic experts are still gathering evidential materials for their use accompanied by myself, L.C Ugorji, Uche Osuji, Ishmael Nkwocha, J.I Ogamba, D.O Nosike and a host of other Lawyers”. Meanwhile, the remains of the deceased had been deposited in the morgue.
According to the statement, the late former NBA chairman’s driver who reportedly was the only person with him in the office on Saturday “is at the time of this report at large, with Nwankwo’s phones, and car nowhere to be found”.
The NBA described the incident as “one death too many; one murder too savage!”.
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